Anticipatory Technology Assessment


11.00 – 12.30, 3 September 


Introduction and collaborative exploration of the “Anticipatory Technology Assessment Toolkit” (ATA-Kit) developed by members of


As Europe embraces a new generation of smart technologies whose design and operation defy traditional approaches to technology assessment, the role of anticipation is likely to increase.

As technology design defines corridors for learning systems but no longer the final features of the actual systems as they operate in a wide variety of data-driven contexts, designers, users, citizens, and policy makers need to shift toward a different paradigm for technology assessment capable of anticipating different scenarios of use and abuse. The ATA-Kit facilitates such anticipatory scenario development and supports actors involved in innovation governance in adjusting to a new paradigm in which prediction, anticipation, and futures literacies play a decisive role.


The ATA-Playbook structures engagement with emerging technologies based on the “5S” approach (spaces, stacks, stages, systems, sustainabilities) developed by the anticipate network:

SPACES: Our move into an era of “invisible” computing” (Mark Weise) anticipated by the pioneers of ubiquitous computing has been facilitated by the ever-more-granular distribution of technological infrastructures.

STACK: In the early 21st century, we effectively live in the stack. By definition, a new stack lays the foundation of new future and emerging technologies.

STAGES: The focus on stages assesses the hybrid spaces of technology as they relate to new forms of democratic accountability and the need to anticipate / stage new forms of collective agency.

SYSTEMS: As evidenced by the current crisis, the physics of causation of the industrial era are giving way to a (quantum) physics of correlation and recursivity.

SUSTAINABILITIES: Acknowledged but rarely fully taken into account, the “SDGs” are by definition a plural concept as multiple forms of sustainability co-exist and are often in conflict with one another.



A printable blueprint of the ATA-Playbook to explore with your organizational members and get them involved in the iteration of the next version of the toolkit.


An understanding of the 5S-approach to ATA:
SPACES: Coming to terms with a plurality of hybrid spaces
STACKS: The multiple technological infrastructures and data-driven platforms sustaining our ways of life effectively structure how we relate to ourselves, and to the world around us.
STAGES: All publics involve elements of staging.
SYSTEMS: As we engage with new technologies, our focus shifts to their systemic attributes, effects, and modes of operation.
SUSTAINABILITIES: Create corridors for action that leave room for the incommensurable.


The likely flow will be as follows:

10 mins – check-in, who is present, access to shared document via chat, co-creative / simultaneous mapping of all participants on “whiteboard” with structured identity-cards
5 mins – thematic intro, what you will learn

15 mins: the 5S approach as a window onto the present – a method sprint (5 mins overview, 10 adaptation to individual organizational contexts)

15 mins: use cases – an application sprint (5 mins selection among pre-defined use cases, 10 mins adaptation to concrete use case)

15 mins: prototyping I – a first assessment: what is involved in adaptation to local organizational contexts and sample uses cases, how should the prototyping process be adjusted

15 mins prototyping II – second application sprint lead by volunteer participants who wish to feature their own use cases

20 mins: sharing, avenues for in-depth engagement, avenues for follow-up (OLLD workshop experience shows that time at the end is crucial as much learning takes place here, during a moment of “collaborative closure”)


This workshop is for anyone who feels, thinks, or wonders whether more people should be involved in the co-design of the socio-technological systems structuring and sustaining the ways in which we live and labor. Don’t assume that such discussions are for experts, assume that you have a role to play and can make a useful contribution to anticipatory technology assessment. And remember that anyone can tell a what-if story – that is really (ok almost) everything you need to know to get involved.


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